Coach Doreen Doctor and her volleyball team celebrate her 200th career victory after their win over Liverpool last week. Pictured in the photo left to right, Front: Mallory Davis, Casey VanSlyke, Sidney Lawson. Back: Mia Campanile, Amanda Shoenfelt, Kelsey Farrell, Anna Smith, Malorie Olin, Coach Doctor, Julianna Augustine, Natalie Roach, Kristina Didio
Skaneateles Seated in the chair second from the right end of the bench, forearms on her knees, Doreen Doctor leaned forward before the start of the Skaneateles-Liverpool girls’ volleyball match Thursday night. She occasionally swayed from left to right — eyes always following the action in front of her — but for the vast majority of the three-set competition, the Lakers coach didn’t budge.
“That’s what she does,” setter Sidney Lawson joked. Poise, teammate Julianna Augustine called it.
But after the final point of Skaneateles’ 25-21, 25-19, 25-20 victory was in the books, Doctor stretched toward the floor for a quick, open-palmed drumroll and stood up with a right-handed fist pump. Career win No. 200 was worthy of celebration.
After the match, the Lakers players brought out ‘200’ signs and swarmed their coach as athletic director Stacey Tice congratulated Doctor over the loudspeaker.
‘200’ shirts (with a volleyball in the place of each ‘0’) were distributed to the team before the players presented Doctor with a signed picture frame inscribed ‘Congrats Coach Doctor,’ a signed volleyball and a dozen roses — one from each member of the varsity squad.
“It’s nice to win 200 and it’s very nice to be recognized by my kids like this,” Doctor said, wearing her celebratory shirt. “But I told them the same thing, 200 wins is nice, but it didn’t come without good players. They have just as much to do with this as I do.”
Doctor took the helm at Skaneateles in 1999, in the middle of her 33-year tenure working as a physical education teacher at Grimshaw Elementary School in LaFayette.
She inherited a relatively competitive team, but one in need of focus, drive and passion. Doctor injected those traits into the program with her dedicated and caring approach. Within a few years, the Lakers were already competing for Onondaga High School League titles.